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  1. #1
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    The Bible says it, I believe it, and that settles it!

    The Bible says it, I believe it, and that settles it!

    This popular little saying, quite a hit amongst fundamentalists, leads to one little problem. How do you know if the Bible really says what you think it says? What if it means something different than what you think it means, and then you contort your entire understanding of rest of the Bible to accommodate your false understanding? Many things in the Bible are so ambivalent that no one can have any certain understanding. And even the main and plain things are interpreted in diametrically opposite ways by people equally devoted to the Bible as "God's Word." Everyone interprets things differently and when push comes to shove, they have no choice but to say "That's my understanding and I'm sticking to it" - or worse "The LORD revealed to me the true meaning!"

    So how do you know who's right and who's wrong?

    You don't. And that's why the Bible is absolutely useless as a guide for what we are supposed to believe.

    QED.
    • Skepticism is the antiseptic of the mind.
    • Remember why we debate. We have nothing to lose but the errors we hold. Who but a stubborn fool would hold to errors once they have been exposed?

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  2. #2
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    The Bible says it, I believe it, and that settles it!

    Ho Richard,

    Here is a little anecdote from my life.

    One day, in the centre of England, I was walking down hill on a path in a forest in Robin Hood country. As I passed a sign informing me that the local people had purchased this particular stretch of 'ancient' wood to gift to their descendants, I had a sudden and unexpected thought: that God knew every single person who had ever walked down that path for a thousand years. (Obviously, God knows everyone from before that too, but my puny mind was grappling with the implications of just the last thousand years.)

    What struck me particularly, was how advances in knowledge would have altered the information being passed down the generations. I also considered how people would consciously reject some of what they had been told by parents, in the light of new findings, while simultaneous not rejecting other things received from the same parents. Similarly, different personalities would cope with, and improvise according to what was available to them, quite differently from each other, even within the same family. God knew every one of them and all the wrong things they had been taught, imagined, wondered (and so on), and did not hold these foibles against them, because He understood how they had arrived there.

    But (this is the important part), He didn't expect people who came to know Him to stay in the same condition as He found them. His intention is to bring everyone toward the likeness of Jesus Christ, the standard perfect normal man. There could not have been anyone who walked down that path who did not need to change something as a result of faith in God's Saviour.

    Hence, when you say
    Many things in the Bible are so ambivalent that no one can have any certain understanding. And even the main and plain things are interpreted in diametrically opposite ways by people equally devoted to the Bible as "God's Word." Everyone interprets things differently...'
    God knows this, of course. They are there for His reasons, to speak what He ordains they should speak to each member of the human race who hears His word.

    He categorically states that His word will accomplish that which He has sent it to accomplish.

    The question each individual is faced with, is honestly listening and honestly responding to the 'what' which God speaks into his or her life. It is these personally challenging words which have the power to move us from lumps of flesh with as much genuine understanding as a log (of wood), and transform us into sons of the living God, with holy light shining from our inner beings.

    It seems to me (from what I've read on BWF) that you (and perhaps Rose, too) have the idea that everyone must 'hear' the same things in God's word, despite it being apparently obvious to you that they don't. This is not to say that there are not rules for understanding the languages, idioms, culture (and that kind of thing) which give us a technical framework, but the LIFE which is in the word is of a further, deeper quality, which cannot be conveyed mechanically. It needs the power and the illumination of the Holy Spirit to bring into being processed spiritually and internally by the hearer.

    The first is entirely legitimate, but can be as dead as a dodo. The second does not depend on the first, but the person who is only reading the second way might be able to give a remarkably accurate rendering of doctrine, (which even the dead readers could find points to dispute, (surprisingly)), despite being technically 'unlearned'.

    God knows that man tries to be self-sufficient, and He deliberately made His word problematic to the fallen mind, despite its 'ever learning', (as Paul remarked in 1 Corinthians 1), so that He could choose 'not many' of the world's great, for the reasons Paul gives at the end of the chapter. When I realised that I was one of the basest, who had been compelled to come in from one of the metaphorical hedgerows of the world, I was shocked. But the thought has grown on me, and, in light of the promises to the poor in spirit, the mourners for sin, the hungry for righteousness, I have come to value all the ways in which being a failure qualified me to have been striven with by God, until I yielded to Him, and began to allow Him to change me into the likeness of His Son, on the inside.
    16 That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; 17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; 19 And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.

    Ephesians 3

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Charisma View Post
    Ho Richard,

    Here is a little anecdote from my life.

    One day, in the centre of England, I was walking down hill on a path in a forest in Robin Hood country. As I passed a sign informing me that the local people had purchased this particular stretch of 'ancient' wood to gift to their descendants, I had a sudden and unexpected thought: that God knew every single person who had ever walked down that path for a thousand years. (Obviously, God knows everyone from before that too, but my puny mind was grappling with the implications of just the last thousand years.)

    What struck me particularly, was how advances in knowledge would have altered the information being passed down the generations. I also considered how people would consciously reject some of what they had been told by parents, in the light of new findings, while simultaneous not rejecting other things received from the same parents. Similarly, different personalities would cope with, and improvise according to what was available to them, quite differently from each other, even within the same family. God knew every one of them and all the wrong things they had been taught, imagined, wondered (and so on), and did not hold these foibles against them, because He understood how they had arrived there.

    But (this is the important part), He didn't expect people who came to know Him to stay in the same condition as He found them. His intention is to bring everyone toward the likeness of Jesus Christ, the standard perfect normal man. There could not have been anyone who walked down that path who did not need to change something as a result of faith in God's Saviour.

    Hence, when you say
    God knows this, of course. They are there for His reasons, to speak what He ordains they should speak to each member of the human race who hears His word.

    He categorically states that His word will accomplish that which He has sent it to accomplish.

    The question each individual is faced with, is honestly listening and honestly responding to the 'what' which God speaks into his or her life. It is these personally challenging words which have the power to move us from lumps of flesh with as much genuine understanding as a log (of wood), and transform us into sons of the living God, with holy light shining from our inner beings.

    It seems to me (from what I've read on BWF) that you (and perhaps Rose, too) have the idea that everyone must 'hear' the same things in God's word, despite it being apparently obvious to you that they don't. This is not to say that there are not rules for understanding the languages, idioms, culture (and that kind of thing) which give us a technical framework, but the LIFE which is in the word is of a further, deeper quality, which cannot be conveyed mechanically. It needs the power and the illumination of the Holy Spirit to bring into being processed spiritually and internally by the hearer.

    The first is entirely legitimate, but can be as dead as a dodo. The second does not depend on the first, but the person who is only reading the second way might be able to give a remarkably accurate rendering of doctrine, (which even the dead readers could find points to dispute, (surprisingly)), despite being technically 'unlearned'.

    God knows that man tries to be self-sufficient, and He deliberately made His word problematic to the fallen mind, despite its 'ever learning', (as Paul remarked in 1 Corinthians 1), so that He could choose 'not many' of the world's great, for the reasons Paul gives at the end of the chapter. When I realised that I was one of the basest, who had been compelled to come in from one of the metaphorical hedgerows of the world, I was shocked. But the thought has grown on me, and, in light of the promises to the poor in spirit, the mourners for sin, the hungry for righteousness, I have come to value all the ways in which being a failure qualified me to have been striven with by God, until I yielded to Him, and began to allow Him to change me into the likeness of His Son, on the inside.
    Hi Richard and Charisma,

    I just thought I would a few things.

    That is a very good point Charisma that we all don't have to understand the same exact things.

    The Bible is not meant to be read in an academic way, although it is read in this way by many attempting to understand God. God cannot be known by our cognitive reasoning and if we attempt to know Him by this method, we will surely be offended. The heart is the key to going beyond cognitive reasoning. The Holy Spirit is more than able to bring disparate people into unity and does. We don't unify around FACTS, but rather a PERSON. JESUS is the TRUTH. The problem for disunity amongst so-called "Christians" is once again the heart. (we can go into that detail later).

    For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them. (Mat 13:15)

    And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive: (Matt 13:14)

    Cognitive reasoning cannot KNOW, UNDERSTAND or FIND God. He hides Himself.


    Mat 11:25 At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes.


    We can ask ourselves; why is the heart so important to Him? Why does He hide Himself from our cognitive reasoning?


    Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded. (1Pe 2:6)


    The Bible says it, I believe it and that settles it.


    This statement is being said with the heart that has been converted and given understanding, not the mind. The mind is incapable of making this declaration.

    Last edited by heb13-13; 10-24-2011 at 05:04 PM.

    There is no other book like the Bible in the world where you have to know the Author to understand the book. If Christianity were the religion of the Book then it would be no different than any other religion in the world. But, Christianity is Christ! It is the dynamic, personal Spirit of God functioning in man.

    Answering the Skeptics Bible

  4. #4
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    http://www.biblewheel.com/forum/showthread.php?p=35623#post35623

    The mind is incapable of making this declaration.
    Until it has been renewed in its spirit, perhaps?
    16 That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; 17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; 19 And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.

    Ephesians 3

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Charisma View Post
    Until it has been renewed in its spirit, perhaps?
    Ahhh, yes. How unperceptive of me. The New Man also gets a New Mind besides a New Heart. Thank you, Charisma.

    And when Jesus knew it, he saith unto them, Why reason ye, because ye have no bread?perceive ye not yet, neither understand? have ye your heart yet hardened? (Mar 8:17)

    Speaking of "perception", Jesus says in Mark 8:17, WHY REASON YE?

    Jesus is doing something very important here. He is trying to take them beyond the mind.

    He is contrasting in this very scripture, "reasoning" from true understanding.

    And He tells us what the problem is; why they are unable to get beyond their mind so they can "perceive" and "understand".

    Again, it is the "heart". It is always the heart.

    Be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines. For it is a good thing that the heart be established with grace; not with meats, which have not profited them that have been occupied therein. (Heb 13:9)

    Much grace to all,
    Rick

    There is no other book like the Bible in the world where you have to know the Author to understand the book. If Christianity were the religion of the Book then it would be no different than any other religion in the world. But, Christianity is Christ! It is the dynamic, personal Spirit of God functioning in man.

    Answering the Skeptics Bible

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Charisma View Post
    Hence, when you say
    Quote Originally Posted by RAM
    Many things in the Bible are so ambivalent that no one can have any certain understanding. And even the main and plain things are interpreted in diametrically opposite ways by people equally devoted to the Bible as "God's Word." Everyone interprets things differently...'
    God knows this, of course. They are there for His reasons, to speak what He ordains they should speak to each member of the human race who hears His word.

    He categorically states that His word will accomplish that which He has sent it to accomplish.
    Hey there Charisma,

    Yes, the Bible plainly states that God's Word would accomplish that which he sent it to accomplish. But the Bible nowhere states that the book we know of as the "Bible" is the "Word of God." So why do you identify it as such if God does not? And even if we had a reason to say that the Bible is the Word of God, we then must ask which books belong in the Bible? Of course, I think the Bible Wheel gives a good answer to that question, but that's pretty irrelevant because people had to live and die witbhout having any such proof for most of the last 2000 years. And our third problem is that almost all Christians who assert that the Bible is the Word of God reject is as such and deny what it plainly states. Why would they do that? Because the Bible contains many errors, absurdities, contradictions, and moral abominations attributed to God, and this contradicts their humanly crafted concept that the Bible must be the "inerrant and infallible Word of God." They deny that the Bible is "God's Book" designed to accomplish his will, and assert rather that it is something else. They reject the highest view of Scripture which is to simply accept it as given. Christians don't do that because they don't like what it says and go about trying to "fix" it and so make God look like an idiot who couldn't write a high school comic book.

    So there is no problem with the Bible per se. The problem is with the humanly crafted doctrines about that book that deny God the freedom to create whatever kind of book he likes that will accomplish his will.

    Quote Originally Posted by Charisma View Post
    The question each individual is faced with, is honestly listening and honestly responding to the 'what' which God speaks into his or her life. It is these personally challenging words which have the power to move us from lumps of flesh with as much genuine understanding as a log (of wood), and transform us into sons of the living God, with holy light shining from our inner beings.
    Do you have any idea how a person is supposed to distinguish between their own imagination vs. "that which God speaks into his or her life?" I have a friend who has been "hearing" God speak to her for many decades. A few years ago, the same "God" told her to consolodate all her savings and invest everything in the stock market. She and her husband bought $176,000 worth of stocks a few weeks before the great crash of 2008. They still have not recovered the money.

    Quote Originally Posted by Charisma View Post
    It seems to me (from what I've read on BWF) that you (and perhaps Rose, too) have the idea that everyone must 'hear' the same things in God's word, despite it being apparently obvious to you that they don't. This is not to say that there are not rules for understanding the languages, idioms, culture (and that kind of thing) which give us a technical framework, but the LIFE which is in the word is of a further, deeper quality, which cannot be conveyed mechanically. It needs the power and the illumination of the Holy Spirit to bring into being processed spiritually and internally by the hearer.
    I can see how you would get that impression since folks on this forum tend to debate factual aspects of Scripture. And factual aspects have factual answers. But that's not all there is to the Bible, not by a long shot. It just happens to be the kind of things we have been discussing lately. If you go back a couple years in the archive, you will see a lot more discussion about symbolic aspects of Scripture that have unique applications to each individual.

    But as for the idea of the "illumination of the Spirit." That's a lovely sounding idea, but it has no practical significance as far as I can tell. How do you distinguish between the "illumination" of the Spirit vs. your own mind? If you think you can answer this, please provide an example.

    Quote Originally Posted by Charisma View Post
    God knows that man tries to be self-sufficient, and He deliberately made His word problematic to the fallen mind, despite its 'ever learning', (as Paul remarked in 1 Corinthians 1), so that He could choose 'not many' of the world's great, for the reasons Paul gives at the end of the chapter.
    Yes, I am quite familiar with that chapter. But it does not address the kinds of problems I've encountered. Self-sufficiency is not the srouce of the problems. They are authentic problems like God ordering genocide, except for the 32,000 sexy virgins. God giving soldiers the rules to take women captured in war, have sex with them (rape) and then kick them out if the women fail to "delight" them. That's examples of the moral problems. And there are scientific problems like the idea that all the animals alive today descended from pairs upon the ark a few thousand years ago. That idea is simply false. And it is ridiculous to think that placing striped rods before mating sheep would cause them to bear mottled offspring. That's superstitious magic. It's not true. These are the kinds of things I'm talkng about. The Bible is filled with such problems that make it impossible for a modern rational intellect to believe.

    Thanks for taking time to work with me on these issues. It is very helpful.

    All the best,

    Richard
    • Skepticism is the antiseptic of the mind.
    • Remember why we debate. We have nothing to lose but the errors we hold. Who but a stubborn fool would hold to errors once they have been exposed?

    Check out my blog site

  7. #7
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    Hey Rick,

    Don't take my observations as written in stone. I'm just thinking out loud here. It will help you understand where I'm coming from.

    Quote Originally Posted by heb13-13 View Post
    Ahhh, yes. How unperceptive of me. The New Man also gets a New Mind besides a New Heart. Thank you, Charisma.
    But how does a person know he has the new mind? Ask his wife, she'll tell you he's just like any other mortal. He don't got no halo. So is there any practical significance to the idea of the "new mind" or is it just a nice sounding phrase?

    Quote Originally Posted by heb13-13 View Post
    And when Jesus knew it, he saith unto them, Why reason ye, because ye have no bread?perceive ye not yet, neither understand? have ye your heart yet hardened? (Mar 8:17)

    Speaking of "perception", Jesus says in Mark 8:17, WHY REASON YE?

    Jesus is doing something very important here. He is trying to take them beyond the mind.
    Beyond the mind ... to what? The Spirit? What then is the "mind of the Spirit?" It seems like you are comparing the "mind of the flesh" vs. the "mind of the Spirit." Is that correct? If so, it makes sense to me.

    Quote Originally Posted by heb13-13 View Post
    He is contrasting in this very scripture, "reasoning" from true understanding.
    I don't think that's correct. He didn't actually contrast those concepts. The process of reasoning can lead to true understanding. What options do we have? Just believe whatever we happen to "feel?"

    Quote Originally Posted by heb13-13 View Post
    And He tells us what the problem is; why they are unable to get beyond their mind so they can "perceive" and "understand".

    Again, it is the "heart". It is always the heart.

    Be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines. For it is a good thing that the heart be established with grace; not with meats, which have not profited them that have been occupied therein. (Heb 13:9)

    Much grace to all,
    Rick
    Well, the Bible itself seems to be a "meat" that has occupied many people to no profit. Sure, many others have profited. But why? We must read the words and process them with our minds. And our "minds" are not really different than our "hearts" in the Bible. The same words can be translated either as "heart" or "mind." There is a big overlap in those concepts. The differences are not so well defined as in our modern language. They are jsut metaphors really.

    Great chatting!

    Richard
    • Skepticism is the antiseptic of the mind.
    • Remember why we debate. We have nothing to lose but the errors we hold. Who but a stubborn fool would hold to errors once they have been exposed?

    Check out my blog site

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by heb13-13 View Post
    The Bible is not meant to be read in an academic way, although it is read in this way by many attempting to understand God. God cannot be known by our cognitive reasoning and if we attempt to know Him by this method, we will surely be offended. The heart is the key to going beyond cognitive reasoning. The Holy Spirit is more than able to bring disparate people into unity and does. We don't unify around FACTS, but rather a PERSON. JESUS is the TRUTH. The problem for disunity amongst so-called "Christians" is once again the heart. (we can go into that detail later).

    For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them. (Mat 13:15)

    And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive: (Matt 13:14)

    Cognitive reasoning cannot KNOW, UNDERSTAND or FIND God. He hides Himself.
    It seems like you are talking about the Left/Right Brain Hemispheres. The Left is "logical, sequential, verbal, linear" whereas the Right is "intuitive, wholistic, non-verbal." Reality is presented/directly known by the Right, and re-presented (represented) by the symbol generating Left Hemisphere.

    Quote Originally Posted by heb13-13 View Post

    Mat 11:25 At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes.


    We can ask ourselves; why is the heart so important to Him? Why does He hide Himself from our cognitive reasoning?


    Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded. (1Pe 2:6)


    The Bible says it, I believe it and that settles it.


    This statement is being said with the heart that has been converted and given understanding, not the mind. The mind is incapable of making this declaration.

    The "mind" is whole only when both hemispheres function in unity. We need both modes of knowing to be human.
    • Skepticism is the antiseptic of the mind.
    • Remember why we debate. We have nothing to lose but the errors we hold. Who but a stubborn fool would hold to errors once they have been exposed?

    Check out my blog site

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by RAM View Post
    Hey Rick,

    Don't take my observations as written in stone. I'm just thinking out loud here. It will help you understand where I'm coming from.
    No problem at all, I do that a lot.

    But how does a person know he has the new mind? Ask his wife, she'll tell you he's just like any other mortal. He don't got no halo. So is there any practical significance to the idea of the "new mind" or is it just a nice sounding phrase?

    Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. (2Co 5:17)

    Nothing is new, unless one is IN CHRIST. There is no regeneration of heart if one is not IN CHRIST. So then we should define what "in Christ" is. That would make a great thread.

    "Behold, all things are become new". Here are a few things.

    1) The Love of God shed abroad in my once stony heart.
    2) A new desire to love others and tell them the good news.
    3) A new desire to love and follow the Lord.
    4) A new desire to keep my soul diligently, hate sin. Deut 4:9
    5) A recognition that I had received deliverance. My enemies had overtaken me and I was being held captive. I needed a Deliverer without knowing that I needed one.
    6) A heart of thanksgiving. Gratefulness for lifting me up out of the miry clay.
    7) Recognition that I have been changed from the inside, out and that I could not have done it.
    8) He made the first move by bringing someone to me. I was not seeking God. Even the person that He brought to me did not intend to tell me about God. He was partying with me.
    9) A desire to walk in peace towards all men.
    10) Ability to feel sorrow over my sin and be repentant. (Goes with stony heart taken away).
    11) A desire to forgive those that wronged me, and provide restitution to those I wronged without fearing any consequences.
    12) A "sense" of knowing Him and being close to Him.

    Can one enumerate all of His benefits? "Bless the Lord O my soul and forget not all of His benefits."

    Hos 2:23 And I will sow her unto me in the earth; and I will have mercy upon her that had not obtained mercy; and I will say to them which were not my people, Thou art my people; and they shall say, Thou art my God.

    I do cry Abba, Father. Where did that come from? I was not saved in a church, christian crusade or bible study. I was saved in the midst of sinning not caring for or looking for God. I was not trained in church camps to "Praise the Lord", or taught Christian lingo. I got saved on an Aircraft Carrier during the Vietnam War, right in the middle of 5,500 other uncircumcised Philistines.


    He put a New Heart, New Mind and New Song in my heart.

    And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the LORD. (Psa 40:3)

    When I can find my testimony in His book (Psalm 40 is but one place), who am I to attribute my "newness" to? Only His book explains it to me. Besides, even before I ever read His book, I was told things by the Holy Spirit that I found later in His book, when I started reading it. Things that were already communicated to my spirit by His.

    Everytime I read the Bible (His book) I read about Him and I read about me. Just as He is throughout the Bible, so am I.

    Beyond the mind ... to what? The Spirit? What then is the "mind of the Spirit?" It seems like you are comparing the "mind of the flesh" vs. the "mind of the Spirit." Is that correct? If so, it makes sense to me.
    Yes, "mind of the Spirit".

    I don't think that's correct. He didn't actually contrast those concepts. The process of reasoning can lead to true understanding. What options do we have? Just believe whatever we happen to "feel?"

    On the contrary. We don't walk by emotions, though many do, ignoring the mind. This is not a malady that is prevalent just among "christians". I see it with Hindus, Muslims, etc. There is an important place for the mind, that is for sure. We are thinking people. And I agree that it is pitiful how "Christians" accept anything (Todd Bentley, Benny Hinn, etc). The mind, will and emotions (our land) must be brought into subjection to the redeemed Believer and the Word of God. There are "enemies" afoot that always try to invade the land and make a "home" there. I will provide some examples of strange things that are believed about "faith". Passivity is the Devil's playground. And God does not want us to have passive mind's, wills or emotions. We must be strong in each of those areas and God provides the healing and the strength and the discernment to recognize and deal with the "enemies". Some of them are very subtle.


    Well, the Bible itself seems to be a "meat" that has occupied many people to no profit. Sure, many others have profited. But why? We must read the words and process them with our minds. And our "minds" are not really different than our "hearts" in the Bible. The same words can be translated either as "heart" or "mind." There is a big overlap in those concepts. The differences are not so well defined as in our modern language. They are jsut metaphors really.
    Let's go with that. The mind and heart are the same. The mind/heart needs the regeneration of the Holy Spirit. The old must die, to make way for the new. There has to be a death. Cannot put new wine in old wineskins. But our thinking and reasoning is now done within the counsel of God's Word and the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

    Great chatting!

    Richard
    It really is great chatting with you Richard. I'm spending a lot of time with you these days.


    Rick
    Last edited by heb13-13; 10-25-2011 at 05:23 AM.

    There is no other book like the Bible in the world where you have to know the Author to understand the book. If Christianity were the religion of the Book then it would be no different than any other religion in the world. But, Christianity is Christ! It is the dynamic, personal Spirit of God functioning in man.

    Answering the Skeptics Bible

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by heb13-13 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by RAM
    But how does a person know he has the new mind? Ask his wife, she'll tell you he's just like any other mortal. He don't got no halo. So is there any practical significance to the idea of the "new mind" or is it just a nice sounding phrase?
    Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. (2Co 5:17)

    Nothing is new, unless one is IN CHRIST. There is no regeneration of heart if one is not IN CHRIST. So then we should define what "in Christ" is. That would make a great thread.

    "Behold, all things are become new". Here are a few things.

    1) The Love of God shed abroad in my once stony heart.
    2) A new desire to love others and tell them the good news.
    3) A new desire to love and follow the Lord.
    4) A new desire to keep my soul diligently, hate sin. Deut 4:9
    5) A recognition that I had received deliverance. My enemies had overtaken me and I was being held captive. I needed a Deliverer without knowing that I needed one.
    6) A heart of thanksgiving. Gratefulness for lifting me up out of the miry clay.
    7) Recognition that I have been changed from the inside, out and that I could not have done it.
    8) He made the first move by bringing someone to me. I was not seeking God. Even the person that He brought to me did not intend to tell me about God. He was partying with me.
    9) A desire to walk in peace towards all men.
    10) Ability to feel sorrow over my sin and be repentant. (Goes with stony heart taken away).
    11) A desire to forgive those that wronged me, and provide restitution to those I wronged without fearing any consequences.
    12) A "sense" of knowing Him and being close to Him.

    Can one enumerate all of His benefits? "Bless the Lord O my soul and forget not all of His benefits."
    OK - so if someone doesn't have an enthusiastic life changing transformation they can't be sure they are saved? They don't really have the "new mind" if they don't hate sin and all that other stuff? It seems like this doctrine could really mess with people, since most people - especially devout Christians - remain constantly entangled with sin to greater or lesser degrees throughout their lives. No one ever really "hates sin." They still want to do it but feel they should not and so Christianity creates a division within their soul. Everyone knows this if they are honest with themselves.

    And what about folks who feel like they have enthusiastic life changing transformations, as is common when a person joins a cult like Mormonism? Do their feelings give them sufficient proof to conclude that they are born again and have the "new mind?"

    As you can see, we encounter real and intractable problems when we try to find the practical implications of your doctrine about the "new mind" that only True Believers have.

    The problem is this - "True Believers" are statistically indistingishable from unbelievers in every measurable aspect. Given one thousand people, is there any objectively verifiable fact that distinguishes between beleivers and unbelievers? The answer is obviously no. This is what I was getting at. Your enthusiastic answer is very seductive to the human mind and emotions, but is it true?

    Quote Originally Posted by heb13-13 View Post
    Hos 2:23 And I will sow her unto me in the earth; and I will have mercy upon her that had not obtained mercy; and I will say to them which were not my people, Thou art my people; and they shall say, Thou art my God.

    I do cry Abba, Father. Where did that come from? I was not saved in a church, christian crusade or bible study. I was saved in the midst of sinning not caring for or looking for God. I was not trained in church camps to "Praise the Lord", or taught Christian lingo. I got saved on an Aircraft Carrier during the Vietnam War, right in the middle of 5,500 other uncircumcised Philistines.
    Where did that come from? Well, first of all, you read it in a book! It came from other believers who went before you. I believe all our minds are linked to greater or lesser degrees and there are "vortices" in the universal mind that draw people in. Every religion can be seen as a vortex.

    Quote Originally Posted by heb13-13 View Post
    He put a New Heart, New Mind and New Song in my heart.

    And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the LORD. (Psa 40:3)

    When I can find my testimony in His book (Psalm 40 is but one place), who am I to attribute my "newness" to? Only His book explains it to me. Besides, even before I ever read His book, I was told things by the Holy Spirit that I found later in His book, when I started reading it. Things that were already communicated to my spirit by His.

    Everytime I read the Bible (His book) I read about Him and I read about me. Just as He is throughout the Bible, so am I.
    Again - your mind exists in a larger mind, and you have access to it all, though much is unconscious. I think this explains a lot.


    Quote Originally Posted by heb13-13 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by RAM
    I don't think that's correct. He didn't actually contrast those concepts. The process of reasoning can lead to true understanding. What options do we have? Just believe whatever we happen to "feel?"
    On the contrary. We don't walk by emotions, though many do, ignoring the mind. This is not a malady that is prevalent just among "christians". I see it with Hindus, Muslims, etc. There is an important place for the mind, that is for sure. We are thinking people. And I agree that it is pitiful how "Christians" accept anything (Todd Bentley, Benny Hinn, etc). The mind, will and emotions (our land) must be brought into subjection to the redeemed Believer and the Word of God. There are "enemies" afoot that always try to invade the land and make a "home" there. I will provide some examples of strange things that are believed about "faith". Passivity is the Devil's playground. And God does not want us to have passive mind's, wills or emotions. We must be strong in each of those areas and God provides the healing and the strength and the discernment to recognize and deal with the "enemies". Some of them are very subtle.
    Yes, stupidity is a human problem. It manifests particularly in relgions, not just Christianity any means. Religious fundamentalism is generally anti-intellectual.


    Quote Originally Posted by heb13-13 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by RAM
    Well, the Bible itself seems to be a "meat" that has occupied many people to no profit. Sure, many others have profited. But why? We must read the words and process them with our minds. And our "minds" are not really different than our "hearts" in the Bible. The same words can be translated either as "heart" or "mind." There is a big overlap in those concepts. The differences are not so well defined as in our modern language. They are jsut metaphors really.
    Let's go with that. The mind and heart are the same. The mind/heart needs the regeneration of the Holy Spirit. The old must die, to make way for the new. There has to be a death. Cannot put new wine in old wineskins. But our thinking and reasoning is now done within the counsel of God's Word and the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
    Well - I think we have the same problem we started with. How does one know that one has the "new mind" if there is no objective evidence? People get "transformed" every day when they join up with all sorts of groups.

    Quote Originally Posted by heb13-13 View Post

    It really is great chatting with you Richard. I'm spending a lot of time with you these days.


    Rick
    It's great chatting with you, brother man!
    • Skepticism is the antiseptic of the mind.
    • Remember why we debate. We have nothing to lose but the errors we hold. Who but a stubborn fool would hold to errors once they have been exposed?

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